Unusually for April, the Orme hosted the first PSSA Meeting by greeting us with some Northerly winds, which meant that we could not fly from the Tank tracks on Day One. The weather, however, although cold, was crisp, dry, and sunny, more or less all day. It is always difficult to recognise old friends when they are wrapped up in thermals, mufflers, and thick coats, but it was pleasant to renew friendships after the long winter break, albeit made more convivial by constant forum sharing on www.modelflying.co.uk
The 30th Anniversary of PSSA means much less to me in that I have only been a member for a matter of a few years, but the history is well illustrated on the website – www.pssaonline.co.uk. Bob Jennings has kindly designed a special logo for the occasion, and a T Shirt is on its way. Phil Cooke is enthusiastically promoting the Association, which has resulted in much publicity in the magazine, and the attendance of Lynsay Todd for the weekend, with his camera and notebook, so watch out for something in RCM&E.
It is always interesting to see new models at the beginning of the season, after winter shed building. Andy Meade seems to be able to produce new own designed models at a prestigious rate. If you look on the forum, he seems to have at least 4 models on the go at any one time. Last year he produced an enormous A10, and this year he turned up with a Sukhoi SU27
There was another similarly clad “Flanker” in similar livery, which was also splendid. Neither model took to the air due to us being plagued once again with lightish winds of between 8 and 20mph. Lynsay asked with disbelief whether we regarded such winds as light when, on the power field, it would have been on the fringes of “unflyability”
Matt Jones has designed a scratch built Hawker Hurricane, which he was test flying clad in silver solarfilm. This year, of course we are all taking part in an A4 Mass Build, for which see the Introduction RCM&E thread. There are several other similar threads as well as those penned by participant builders. It is always worrying and angst causing when you throw off a plane for the first time. Matt assured me that he had checked the C of G using 2 methods, mathematical, and online, yet it was very tail heavy and was impossible to control. When you consider that the wind was very light, and that we were on the Northerly aspect of the Orme with only the sea below, everyone watching suddenly felt very nervous. Matt experrtly controlled the Warbird to safety by landing it sideways slightly lower down from where we were. I leant him some lead for the nose, yet it needed still more.
I flew my JP and Tornado in varying lift, which moved round to the West as the morning progressed.
Chris Barlow brought 2 new models – a black and yellow liveried JP, which didn’t fly, and a white clad Vulcan, which did, and flew straight out of the box. It was interesting to compare the way it flew with my Ian Benson plan build. Chris has cleverly designed some bomb doors for the bomb dropping competition which is planned for Day 2.
In the afternoon, there were as many as 6 Vulcans which could have indulged in formation flying. I counted at least 3 in the air at any one time, one of which was one of Mark Kettle’s black foam design of Tom Cooke in the usual camouflaged version used in the Falklands.
The wind in the afternoon picked up as we approached tea time, which saw Steve Mclaren fly his Tornado and JP. The low sun, however does impede visibility at the Orme, but as we were on the North West side near the cafe and road, it was only to the side, which mitigated its effect to some extent.
At about 5.30pm, disaster struck, but not in a modelling sense. As I was on the way to pick up my model, I tripped over some gorse in the blinding sunlight and went head over heels. I did not realise until I got back to the car about half an hour later that I had lost my keys. How was I going to find them in 100 square metres of scrub? I searched everywhere but couldn’t find them. Thanks to the diligent and kind efforts of the chaps who did a police style sweep in a line, Matt Jones found them lower down than where I thought I had fallen. By that time panic had set in, and I was so relieved. Note to self – Buy a key retriever, or sellotape them to the side of my head!
It is always nice to welcome Simon Cocker to our PSS events. He brought along a huge white U2 looking model. He will no doubt tell me if I am wrong. To see a model spanning nearly 4 metres roll overhead was a sight to behold.
We rounded off the evening with a thoroughly enjoyable meal at the Premier Inn in Llandudno Junction.
To view various photographs of the 2 days go to our Photograph Page.
This video appears on the A470 Soaring Web Blog
The Llandudno Council in its wisdom closed Marine Drive for a cycle race. In the lead up to the weekend we thought it would remain closed all day, but fortunately we had a man on the inside in the shape of Tim Mackie, who found out that they planned to re-open the road at 11.15, the race having kicked off at 7am! Despite my earnest plan to dress up in lycra and impersonate a silver bike racer with models strapped to my back, a lie in prevailed, and the road opened bang on time at 11.15am.
The weather was fine, cold, sunny, crisp and dry. The wind was blowing about 15mph to the North West so we were on the slope neareast the cafe next to the road, which meant that a few walkers volunteered themselves as sharp nose pointed model target practise, which was nice.
Some new visitors with yet more PSS models arrived just for the Sunday. I saw and Aermacchi, a Fouga Magister, a Hawker Hurricane, part finished and in development, a huge Typhoon, a gaggle of JP’s from the last Mass Build, 3 Panavian Tornados including my own, and at least 6 Vulcans. What an array of models.
We happily flew all day in winds of 8 to 15mph so the heavier loaded PSS models were grounded. By the end of the day, however, the wind had increased to about 25mph which meant we could fly anything within reason. Andy Meade’s huge A10 remained in its box all day but did get an outing on Monday morning after we had all gone home. By Sunday night in the sunset, the wind finally chased round to the South West and got up to 25mph.te
Chris Barlow maidened his white Vulcan very sucessfully. He also attempted to maiden his black and yellow Jet Provost but the C of G was too far back. Initially it was too tail heavy and uncontrollabe. After a heavy landing I leant him some lead for the nose which cured the problem. After a a bit of down trim, it really started scooting round the sky that only JP’s do. I think he was very pleased with it.
A word also about Matt Jones own design scratch built Hurricane which was not finished as he was test flying it. He had designed it for the year after next’s Mass Build. It was finished in grey solarfilm ready for camouflage finishing off. First flight off the Northerly slope was heart stopping in that it was far too tail heavy and behaved like a pregnant porpoise. Matt used all his skill to avoid a drop into the sea by landing sideways on a ledge. He then added more lead. 2nd flight was better but still more nose weight needed. 3rd flight with yet more lead and the C of G was more like it. After that it flew beautifully scale like and fast. We all look forward to building it in 2 years time.
As this was our 30th Anniversary year we had to have prizes. Phil charged £3 which went towards the prizes and club funds. There were some Vulcan beer packs and the Ron Collins cup for best model of the weekend. At 4pm on the last day, after a participant’s democratic vote, the following models won the prizes.
Best Flown Prop – Hawker Hurricane – Matt Jones
Best Flown Jet – Panavia Tornado – Steve McLaren
Model of the weekend – Aermacchi MB339 – John Hey – awarded the Ron Collins Trophy
And finally Day 2 of Steve Houghton’s A 470 Soaring Video
well almost finally – here are Phil Cooke’s superior photos